EUROPE: Look at the numbers

To remain in, or leave the EU?

Let us set aside the emotion and the rhetoric. I like numbers.

One of the basic lessons in business I like to impart is “if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it”.

It is hard to understand why Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, who is a Canadian, a country with a population of 35.54 million and GDP of $1.785trillion, i.e. $50,225 per capita, thinks the United Kingdom, a country with a population of 65.04 million and GDP of $3.14trillion, i.e. $48,280 per capita, cannot survive outside the EU.

The population of the EU, 28 countries including the UK, is 508.2 million.

The GDP of the EU is $18.50trillion.

The UK accounts for 12.8 per cent of the total EU population, but its economy represents 17 per cent of the EU’s GDP.

The EU’s GDP per capita is only $36,400 per capita. Of course, this is building rich countries such as Germany, France and the Netherlands, as well as the UK, into the aggregate, when most southern, and particularly eastern European, EU member countries are much poorer and have far lower GDP per capita figures.

In addition, it is not just a matter of annual economic output.

As with individuals, it is one’s wealth, and not just annual income, which determines their living standard.

The UK’s sunk capital, i.e. social and economic infrastructure, is far greater than in many EU member states, again particularly in southern, and especially eastern, Europe.

So it is obvious that if the UK remains in the EU there will be a transfer of funds out of this country for years to come.

Dr Keith White-Hunt